FILE PHOTO: Pundit Rudranath Maharaj – Lincoln Holder
Saying the country was now spiralling down a pathway of destruction, a spokesman for the anti-crime group Concerned Citizens for a Better San Fernando said it would host a motorcade and rally on June 3 to highlight issues and offer crime-fighting solutions.
Pundit Rudranath Maharaj said the event starts at 9.30 am at Palmiste Boulevard and ends at 11.30 am at the Naparima College Ground at Lewis Street in San Fernando.
He spoke at a press conference on Tuesday at Harris Promenade in San Fernando. Several other prominent individuals, including Pastor Clive Dottin, are supporting the initiative.
Maharaj said right-thinking, law-abiding and praying people want the crime situation to improve, as many people are imprisoned in their homes.
He said criminals are also targeting the business community, with children being shot by stray bullets. There are many other crimes plaguing the country that were “too atrocious to mention.
“As a result, that sense of hopelessness now pervades our community. We hope that by our motorcade throughout the length and breadth of San Fernando that, we could awaken that spirit, that commitment, that patriotism to recognise that we have to stand up and do something,” Maharaj said.
He added that God helps those who help themselves.
The group urged people to wear the national colours of red, white and black, as well as to bring the national flag.
“We will be offering prayer and asking the various denominational bodies to come and join with us and offer prayers for our leaders, the police, ministers, and all people who hold offices. We will be offering prayers for all the victims and people who have suffered because of crime,” Maharaj said.
The group intends to share “tangible but achievable measures.” The group demanded that the authorities put effective anti-crime measures in place to make people feel safer.
Out of the event, the group hopes to create a document and submit it to the Prime Minister, President Christine Kangaloo, and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The document would include suggestions for lowering the crime rate.
“We demand that they be implemented,” Maharaj said.
He said the short-term recommendations are increasing resources for police to establish a presence in communities and working with the Defence Force.
Maharaj called on the Government to give greater resources to the Defence Force andensure the patrol vessels work and radar functions effectively.
The group called for bipartisan bail reform for drug and gun offenders as well as port scanners.
In the medium term, the State must enhance the performance of the judicial system, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and social services.
He said to stop children from embracing gang culture, the authorities must address the education system’s shortcomings.